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Jacob Smith wearing Sonify in a backlit studio live room
dBs InstituteApr 7, 2023 2:41:00 PM1 min read

VIDEO: Sonify: A tool for producing music from motion

Two dBs Institute MA Innovation in Sound students have created a prototype product that allows the wearer to produce music from motion.

Based on the principles of sonification and rhythmic entrainment, Sonify is a dBs Master's project that transforms simple motion into sound through an innovative combination of hardware, software and sound design.

Created by Jacob Smith and Adam Berwick (now our Industry Liaison Officer!), Sonify was initially conceived by Jacob as a way of translate movement into sound. It wasn't until meeting Adam on the MA that the two began discussing the implications of the project and how they could iterate on Jacob's initial idea.

Watch the video to find out how they did it!

Jacob Smith: "So I actually came up with the idea of trying to translate movement, specifically dance, into sound when I was in uni. And my first iteration of that was this crazy, huge jumble of wires here and the idea is that it basically converts movement into midi signals. And it was a really exciting idea. [It was] really fun to work on but I didn't really have any kind of reasoning behind it. Anything to justify it. It was just sort of like a fun tech project and then when me and Adam first met and started discussing this project, he started to bring all these ideas of sonification… And he really gave that justification that the project needed. "

Adam Berwick: "My role, mainly, is looking into the research aspect of things. So looking into 
ways of sonification and audification. I need to kind of focus on why it might be important to make 
up sound a certain way or down sound a certain way  and have a kind of valid reason for why it sounds like that. I also run all the audio recording and editing on the project."

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Inspired by Sonify and other innovative projects from dBs? Check out our MA Innovation in Sound course!